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Tagore, Nazrul over IPL

It was the night of the IPL final, featuring Kolkata Knight Riders and a rare Sunday jamai shashthi. If these two reasons were not enough to keep people home, the skies opened up just about when it was time for them to set off.

That delayed the programme by more than an hour, yet once the rain ceased nothing could keep all 500 chairs under the canopy in front of AD Block community hall from filling up. It was the Rabindra Nazrul Sandhya of Ward 9 and on the programme list, other than local performers, were guest artistes like Manoj Murali Nair and Suman Panthi.

Rabindrasangeet exponent Dwijen Mukhopadhyay and Kalyani Kazi, daughter-in-law of Kazi Nazrul Islam, were felicitated by the ward committee.

“We chose this date as it was the closest Sunday to Nazrul Jayanti. And we thought those celebrating jamai sashthi would do so over lunch and join us in the evening. Besides, at the time of fixing a date we hadn’t expected KKR to reach the finals,” admitted Anindya Chattopadhyay, the local councillor.

At 8.30pm, an hour into the event, with Murali Vijay and Mike Hussey going great guns for Chennai Super Kings, the chairs were still full and some members of the audience had to stand. “I would rather watch KKR bat later. So I thought I would make the best of the evening by coming over to watch such a nice programme now,” said Aniket Das of AC Block. Surajit Ghosh of AD Block was not sure whether KKR would lift the cup. “So why take a chance and spend time on a losing cause? I am accompanying my family to the show. At least my home ministry would be happy,” smiled Ghosh, pointing to his wife seated next to him. It could not be known whether he went home in time for Manvinder Bisla’s batting blitzkrieg later on.

But elderly women like Shampa Dutta of AB Block and Nilima Roy of AD Block had no qualms about choosing music over cricket. “Our councillor had promised us a good programme to celebrate the birthdays of Tagore and Nazrul Islam. Though today was a busy day, I came to see if he has kept his word,” said Dutta.

Roy said she would stay on till the end of the programme. “Watching these talented artistes perform is a treat. Why waste time glued to the television? My son and my husband are so excited about today’s match that they refused to accompany me. So here I am on my own,” she said.

The programme started with a song by members of Sreenandana. Then local children sang in chorus. This was followed by dance by block children to Tagore and Nazrul songs.

When the programme ended close to 11pm, with KKR going hammer and tongs on television, sporting a wan smile were the organisers. “Rabindranath and Nazrul have defeated all other attractions. Even two hours of downpour could not keep residents home,” the councillor said.

The organisers kept tabs on the match score through the evening and rushed home to watch the end after the show got over. “And after KKR’s victory, we returned to the community hall to celebrate,” smiled Chattopadhyay.